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Movie Review: Furry Vengeance

April 30, 2010

Furry Vengeance – An E1 Films’ Release

http://www.furryvengeance-movie.com/#/home

Release Date: April 30th, 2010

Rated G

Running time: 90 minutes

 

Roger Kumble (dir.)

 

Michael Carnes (writer)

Josh Gilbert (writer)

 

Edward Shearmur (music)

 

Brendan Fraser as Dan Sanders

Ricky Garcia as Frank

Eugene Cordero as Cheese

Patrice O’Neal as Gus

Jim Norton as Hank

Brooke Shields as Tammy Sanders

 

Photo: Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields star in Furry Vengeance.

 

Our reviews below:

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Furry Vengeance Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

Furry Vengeance is like the offspring of Dr. Dolittle 2 and Evan Almighty.  What it’s not, despite mirroring the plot, is Over the Hedge – that great little Dreamworks animation from 2006.  Brendan Fraser plays Dan Sanders, a developer who uprooted his family from Chicago to live in a model home in Rocky Springs, and oversee development of a new subdivision.  But the company he works for practices “greenwashing” and the animals have to stop Dan before he allows the forest to be destroyed.  Of course, the animals inflict all sorts of bodily harm upon Dan, to try and make him realize what he’s doing wrong.

 

The save the trees message rings out loud and true, as it should, but I’m sorry, the animals are only cute due to physical look.  Their actions are kinda creepy, though we root for them none-the-less.  The images of a bathroom stained with disgusting amounts of tomato juice, and of Brendan Fraser with his eyes swollen closed from thousands of bee stings, are just teasers at what a disturbing horror movie this subject matter would have made.

 

I surprisingly didn’t hate the movie, but I also can’t defend it when people inevitably do – it would be very easy to dislike it.  The scenes of animals releasing bodily-functions does get rather stale, and whenever a gag is repeated, it’s not funny.  And really?  An end credits dance sequence?  But on the plus side, although Ken Jeong does not get to utter any type of immortal line of dialogue, like he did as the car window closed in The Hangover, he’s still rather funny in G-rated form.  And despite sometimes being obnoxious, it is also sometimes funny and clever, and the false green-development on display here rings true and must be stopped.

 

If you like Brendan Fraser, if you like watching adorable animals do mean things to bad people, or perhaps you just like a good message, then by all means go see this movie.  Just go with low expectations, and you’ll either be pleasantly surprised, or not disappointed.  For adults, this is an average kids comedy.  For kids, this is a piece of incredible entertainment, with a good, if incredibly heavy-handed message.

 

One more thing has to be noted before people start making jokes about the resources taken to make this movie – this was a 100% carbon-neutrel production – the best way to go when making a movie.

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Furry Vengeance Review by Erin V.

**3/4 (out of 4)

In Furry Vengeance, Brendan Fraser is a development head on a new suburbia going up in the middle of the wilderness.  When he starts development, the animals try to get him to leave, yet no one believes him that the animals are ‘out to get him’.  So he starts playing an obsessive role that oddly reminded me of the guy obsessed with the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The humour here though is very slapstick at times, with him chasing animals onto the roof, setting up traps, and the animals retaliating by skunks spraying him, birds pecking on the window so he can’t sleep, and loads of other stuff including a bear chasing him into a port-a-potty.  And this is all masterminded by one raccoon…  Fraser plays this kind of role well though, and he has good members in the supporting cast as well here, (such as Ken Jeong).

 

I kind of thought closer to three stars when I left the theatre, because oddly I did have a good laugh and a good time, but when compared to other films more deserving of three, this doesn’t hold up.  Granted, it is a strong **3/4 for me.  I don’t know why I liked it honestly, but it was funny.  I do know that most critics are going to trash it – and probably love doing it, but who cares?  I’ve seen far worse than this film.

 

What made Furry Vengeance work for me, was that it knew exactly what tone it was going for and hit the right notes.  Sure, it hits you over the head with it’s message (albeit a good one), and some of the repeated gags are over the top, but because of it’s commitment to itself, it was actually kind of enjoyable.  Kids are going to love it, and there’s nothing to say families shouldn’t go see this one.

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Furry Vengeance Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

When I first saw the trailer for Furry Vengeance I thought it looked cute, but **1/2 at best.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover a delightfully silly, but at the same time, an intelligent and funny movie with a good message.  When Dan Sanders, a develop manager for shady development company Lyman Industries movies his family from the city to Rocky SPrings for a development project, little does he know that the area is already inhabited.  The Rocky Springs site lives on a forested area that was meant to be a nature reserve.  The furry and feathered residents, led by an angry raccoon, conspire to harass Sanders and the developers until they change their minds about destroying their home.

 

Furry Vengeance is the sort of film that has to be done right.  What works in Furry Vengeance can be attributed to several factors.  For one thing, the acting and screenwriting is both witty and clever.  Brendon Fraser plays Sanders well, capturing his slow descent into madness as the animals plot against him.  Ken Jeong is also hilarious as the sleazy developer in charge of the project.  What really works in this film is the fact that, despite all the manic energy and crude humour, there are still a lot of truth elements in this movie.  The animals don’t talk , and there really are developers that “greenwash” customers into thinking they are environmentally conscious, get natural areas rezoned for development, and out source buyers from other cities or countries.

 

Furry Vengeance is a funny movie that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

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Furry Vengeance Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Greenwashing developers beware, the animals are out to get you.  Furry Vengeance is a family comedy that delivers a not too subtle message about supposedly green development company, Lyman Industries, and their plan to cut down all the surrounding trees and turn Rocky Springs into suburban heaven.  Development manager Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) is just doing his job and trying to get some houses built.  His boss Mr. Lyman, (Ken Jeong) wants to sell all the surrounding land to overseas buyers and develop every square acre.  The local animals object and try to make life miserable for Sanders in hopes that he will give up and leave their home alone.  The outcome of the storyline is predictable and much of the comedy is slapstick and juvenile, but overall it works.

 

What makes this movie work are the comedic talents of Brendan Fraser and Ken Jeong.  Jeong is especially hilarious as the just pretending to be green developer.  The antics with the forest animals are predictable (skunks spraying, etc.) but funny.  Having the animals communicate their thoughts through sounds and visual thought bubbles works rather than having the animals talk to one another in human voices.

 

Furry Vengeance is entertaining enough for kids and adults alike.  And for those of us who are saddened whenever trees are cleared for yet another development project, Furry Vengeance gives us something to fantasize about how things should end for those developers who put money first.

 

The movie ties into an awareness and fundraising project by Earth Rangers and Nature Conservancy.  Go to www.earthrangers.org for more info.

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Furry Vengeance Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Furry Vengeance refers to the combined efforts of its non-human community to stop “development” of a forest that was supposedly protected.  Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) is the site manager living in a model home with his schoolteacher wife Tammy (Brooke Shields) and teen son Tyler (Matt Prokop).  Convinced by his sleazy green washing boss Neal Lyman (Ken Jeong) that the project is good for the environment, Dan agreed to move his reluctant family there from Chicago for a year, unaware that his predecessor was scared off by the animals in the opening scene.  When a raccoon spy discovers that Lyman’s real plans require Dan to stay for several years overseeing a Phase 2 conversion of the forest into a mall, the minor irritants so far inflicted on Dan turn into an all-out assault.  At first, Dan is the only one harassed, leading everyone else to believe he is crazy, until a girl at Tyler’s school points out that animals have always protected the area from human encroachment.  Dan predictably changes sides, leading to a final showdown against the real villains.

 

Furry Vengeance will appeal mainly to kids, with enough to keep adults entertained for an hour and a half, despite its predictability and heavy-handed humour.  Communicating mainly by animal-like calls, the critters have an impressive array of tactics, augmenting their built-in natural defenses with some Rube Goldberg gadgetry.  Good comic timing and the fact that the ammunition delivered by birds and skunks all resembles whipped cream serve to make some of the gross-out humour easy to take.  Ultimately, the cast makes the film work, from the principals through to the minor parts, such as Wallace Shawn (uncredited) as the shrink.  Brendan Fraser is made for this kind of broad physical comedy, even putting on 40 pounds to get more laughs when he takes his shirt off.  The brief flashbacks of previous human settlement featuring him as a caveman, Viking and pilgrim are especially funny.  Brooke Shields is perfect in her role, continuing a great distaff tradition as actors like Catherine O’Hara move on to the next generation.  Ken Jeong as always steals every scene with his own quirky villainy, replacing his unprintable vocabulary from The Hangover with strange falsetto shrieks that may well be unprintable in Korean.

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Consensus: Though a lot of the humour is rather juvenile, Furry Vengeance has a good message, and will be immensely enjoyed by kids – but has just enough going for it to keep adults watching. **1/2 (Out of 4)

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